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Anglian rivers becoming a notorious dump, warns Green MEP

23 Aug Anglian rivers becoming a notorious dump, warns Green MEP

The Green Party Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, Catherine Rowett, has called for urgent action to clean up the region’s rivers, as new figures show Anglian rivers are among the most polluted in the country and are set to be the worst in the country within 7 years.

Catherine Rowett MEP said, “It makes my blood boil to see how our waterways are being pumped full of sewage and chemicals and are unfit for life.”

The figures from the Environment Agency show that just 8% of rivers in the Anglian water catchment are classed as “good” – meaning they are relatively unpolluted. That makes the region currently the third worst in England. By 2027, the Environment Agency estimates that 43% of Anglian rivers will be “good” – well below the target of 75% set by the Government, and below all other river catchment areas, which are expected to improve faster than the Anglian rivers.

Even then, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says the Environment Agency’s projections are optimistic. Catherine Rowett MEP said, “East Anglia is a region that should be renowned for its beautiful wetlands and rivers. Instead it is becoming notorious as a dump for polluting and unsanitary effluence.

The European Union has set a target for all rivers in Europe to be clean by 2027. In the event of Brexit, that directive would no longer apply. Catherine Rowett added, “The European Union is currently a bulwark pushing for greater action to clean up dirty rivers and I fear that leaving Europe will mean we lose what protections for clean water we have, despite Government rhetoric.

“Unpolluted rivers are essential for human health and, especially important given the ecological crisis we are living in, for wildlife. I agree with the World Wildlife Fund that we desperately need more and better enforcement action from Government so that our rivers are once again clean and healthy.”